Pharmaceutical companies decide not to raise drug prices till Sept 30

Pharmaceutical companies across the country will not be bumping up prices of medicines till September 30, the health ministry said on Saturday.

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The ministry’s spokesperson said that the companies will not hike prices in the current financial year’s first quarter.

The decision was made to bring relief to the public amid the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the drug policy of April 2018, pharmaceuticals can raise prices between seven and 10%.

The spokesperson said that the companies can raise the prices under the annual Consumer Price Index, lauding the decision by the pharmaceuticals against the price hike.

Punjab Chemists and Drugs Association Chairman Zahid Bakhtawari said that they had asked the government not to raise the prices, to which it concurred.

“The citizens are in the grips of the coronavirus (that’s why) we gave it due consideration,” he said.

Earlier, in July, it emerged that the government had decided to abolish all sections of the drug pricing policy taking away the powers of pharmaceutical companies to increase drug prices on their own.

In line with the directives from Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government abolished all the sections of the policy, which clearly negates the Drugs Act, 1976.

PM Imran had ordered a review of the pricing policy after the prices rose in the last 10 months.

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